Did you know? The Columbia Supercomputer, at its largest capacity, is at NASA’s Advanced Supercomputing Facility at the NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California.

Nasa's biggest computer columbia

The Bolshoi simulation made use of the Pleiades supercomputer at the NASA Advanced Supercomputing facility (NAS) at NASA Ames Research Center. It is the most accurate cosmological simulation of the evolution of the large-scale structure of the universe yet completed. I find it very impressive.

Is there anything bigger than the Bolshoi (Bolshoi means “big” in Russian) simulation? A second simulation called BigBolshoi or MultiDark, was run with the same number of particles, but in a volume 4 billion light years across, thus 64 times larger.

NASA’s high-power computing (HPC) environment is operated by staff in the NASA Advanced Supercomputing Division at Ames Research Center. The supercomputers and support staff are funded by NASA’s High-End Computing Capability (HECC) Project.

OpenStack, founded by Rackspace Hosting and NASA, has grown to be a global software community of developers collaborating on a standard and massively scalable open source cloud operating system. OpenStack’s mission is to enable any organization to create and offer cloud computing services running on standard hardware. Corporations, service providers, VARS, SMBs, researchers, and global data centers looking to deploy large-scale cloud deployments for private or public clouds leveraging the support and resulting technology of a global open source community. All of the code for OpenStack is freely available under the Apache 2.0 license.

If you are curious about the HPC system components, such as compute nodes, secure network connections, front-end systems, and data storage facilities; and the user environment, including information about the Linux operating system and the various file system directories, visit New User Orientation. Most educational sections of this orientation I think are the HEC Environment, Computing at NAS, and Data Storage and Transfer… in case you want to play a BIG game on these NASA machines or with OpenStack someplace else!